Literature has long been fascinated with fostered, adopted and orphaned children, from Moses to Cinderella to Oliver Twist to Harry Potter. So why do many parentless children feel compelled to hide their pasts? Poet and playwright Lemn Sissay tells his own moving story. (Filmed at TEDxHousesofParliament.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, children, culture, spoken word, TEDxHousesofParliament, 2012
Performance poet (and math student) Harry Baker spins a love poem about his favorite kind of numbers — the lonely, love-lorn prime. Stay on for two more lively, inspiring poems from this charming performer. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, humor, math, poetry, spoken word, TEDxExeter, 2014
Would you kill for a pair of Air Jordans? Lemon Andersen spins a tale of someone who did, reciting a poem by Reg E. Gaines. These verses taught Lemon that poetry could be about more than self-expression, and could sound like music when given rhythm and infused with the grit of the New York streets around him. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, arts, poetry, spoken word, TEDYouth, 2011
"We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don't," says slam poet and teacher Clint Smith. A short, powerful piece from the heart, about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, poetry, social change, spoken word, TED@NYC, 2014
Jamila Lyiscott is a “tri-tongued orator”; in her powerful spoken-word essay "Broken English," she celebrates — and challenges — the three distinct flavors of English she speaks with her friends, in the classroom and with her parents. As she explores the complicated history and present-day identity that each language represents, she unpacks what it means to be “articulate.” Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, culture, language, race, spoken word, TEDSalon NY2014, 2014
Beware: Rives has a contagious obsession with 4 a.m. At TED2007, the poet shared what was then a minor fixation with a time that kept popping up everywhere. But after the talk, emails starting pouring in with obscure, hilarious references—from the cover of "Crochet Today!" magazine to twin mentions in "The Flintstones" and "The Jetsons." A lyrical peek into his Museum of Four in the Morning, which overflows with treasures. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, entertainment, humor, spoken word, storytelling, TEDActive 2014, 2014
Rives recaps the most memorable moments of TED2006 in the free-spirited rhyming verse of a fantastical mockingbird lullaby. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2006, TED, Talks, arts, entertainment, memory, performance, poetry, short talk, spoken...
As kids, we all get advice from parents and teachers that seems strange, even confusing. This was crystallized one night for a young Clint Smith, who was playing with water guns in a dark parking lot with his white friends. In a heartfelt piece, the poet paints the scene of his father's furious and fearful response. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, education, inequality, poetry, race, social change, spoken word, TED2015, 2015
Playwright Eve Ensler explores our modern craving for security -- and why it makes us less secure. Listen for inspiring, heartbreaking stories of women making change. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDGlobal 2005, TED, Talks, activism, culture, global issues, spoken word, technology,...
By turn hilarious and haunting, poet Shane Koyczan puts his finger on the pulse of what it's like to be young and … different. "To This Day," his spoken-word poem about bullying, captivated millions as a viral video (created, crowd-source style, by 80 animators). Here, he gives a glorious, live reprise with backstory and violin accompaniment by Hannah Epperson. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, children, compassion, poetry, spoken word, TED2013, 2013
Poet Rives does 8 minutes of lyrical origami, folding history into a series of coincidences surrounding that most surreal of hours, 4 o'clock in the morning. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2007, TED, Talks, art, arts, entertainment, poetry, spoken word, 2007
How many poets could cram eBay, Friendster and Monster.com into 3-minute poem worthy of a standing ovation? Enjoy Rives' unique talent. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDSalon 2006, TED, Talks, arts, culture, death, entertainment, love, parenting,...